FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and veteran defensive end Michael Bennett were not among those in attendance for the start of the team’s voluntary offseason program on Monday, sources tell ESPN’s Field Yates.
Brady did not take part in last year’s workouts and the expectation was that such was going to become his regular routine in an effort to spend time with his family. Bennett, meanwhile, has almost always trained away from his team during the offseason, making his offseason home in Hawaii.
Wide receiver Julian Edelman, who won the Most Valuable Player Award for Super Bowl LIII, is among those players present for the start of the team’s offseason program. Edelman has a $500,000 workout bonus, which is the highest total of any Patriots player.
At Super Bowl opening night, Brady discussed his absence from the offseason program, and foreshadowed how he would take a similar approach this year.
“My greatest challenge in 2019 is going to be continuing to prepare the way I want with my body, my mind. It always has its unique challenges. I’ve already got my offseason mapped out,” he said at the time. “It’s nice when you figure out the Super Bowl is your last game, and you can start penciling in all the dates for your family and so forth. It will be a lot of time with my family and try to get ready for another year.”
Brady was asked at Super Bowl opening night if he felt his decision to stay away from voluntary workouts contributed to the team’s Super Bowl season.
“I don’t think there’s a strong correlation,” Brady said at the time. “Had I been a part of the offseason, this team would have fought just as hard. We have great leaders. Even when I wasn’t there, I was totally confident the team was doing everything that they needed to do.”